Thursday, June 30, 2016

Is INEC About To Unleash Anarchy In Abia?

Following the June 27, 2016, ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which sacked Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu as the Governor of Abia State, Okezie approached the Court of Appeal to contest the judgment. But earlier today, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) issued a Certificate of Return to Mr. Uche Ogah to be sworn in as Abia Governor despite the motion for a stay of execution pending before the Appeals Court.
*Mr. Ogah receiving his Certificate
of Return at the INEC Headquarters Abuja

Analysts believe that this is an invitation to anarchy. Reports say that Mr. Ugah is on his way to Umuahia to "claim his mandate" while the  sitting governor, following established precedents, is still holding forte as Abia Governor. It will be a case of two governors in Abia State and recipe for crisis.

Observers are worried that INEC, by its action, is about to unleash crisis in Abia State in which the casualty will, as usual, be the ordinary people who will be drawn into it by blind loyalty. 


Commenting on the development, a Lagos-based analyst said:

This is not the first time a governor has been sacked by a court and the sacked governor appealed the judgement; so is someone trying to unleash anarchy in Abia? Mr. Uche Ogah should not allow anyone to use him to cause a break down of law and order in his own state. At the end of the day, it is the ordinary people that will suffer if there is crisis. Mr. Ogah and the person eager to swear him in should exercise a little more patience. The appellate court may yet give judgment in his favour...and based on the Supreme Court ruling on Peter Obi's tenure definition case, his tenure will commence from the date he is sworn in.”  
*Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu 
Meanwhile, Dr. Ikpeazu  in statement personally signed by him has tried to reassure the people of the state and to assert that he remains the governor. His statement:

“I have received with concern, report of the purported issuance of Certificate of Return to Mr. Uche Ogah by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as governor of Abia State, despite dependency of a notice of appeal and motion for stay of the orders made by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Our laws are clear on this matter. No one may be issued with a certificate of return let alone be sworn in as governor, when there is a subsisting appeal and application for stay.

I want to appeal to Abians to remain calm and law abiding in the face of this provocation; unless and until the appellant courts have conclusively resolved the appeal, the status remains, I am still the Governor of Abia State.


Dr Okezie Ikpeazu
Governor, Abia State

No reaction has so far come from either INEC, the Federal Attorney-General, Mr. Uche, or the Federal Government. 



     

1 comment:

  1. "Court Stops Abia Chief Judge, Others from Swearing-in Ogah as Governor"

    A High Court of Abia State has stopped the Chief Judge of Abia State, President of the Customary Court of Appeal and any other judiciary officer, from swearing-

    in Mr. Uche Oga as governor.

    The order made today in court by Justice Ahuchaogu reads: "Upon this motion ex-parte pursuant to section 143 (1) & (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and pending the determination of the motion on notice, after hearing O.O Nkume, counsel to the applicant.

    "It is ordered that an order of injunction is hereby made restraining the 2nd defendant (INEC) from issuing a certificate of return to the 1st defendant (Ogah) while the claimant (Ikpeazu) remains in office in accordance with section 143 (1) & (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and pending the determination of the motion on notice.

    "It is further ordered that the 3rd defendant (chief judge of Abia State) or any other judge of the court or any judiciary officer are hereby restricted from swearing-in the 1st defendant (Ogah) while the claimant (Ikpeazu) remains in office in accordance with section 143 (1) & (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and pending the determination of the motion on notice.

    "It is also ordered that this order is hereby made to last for 10 days from today. The returnable date is fixed for the 8th day of July, 2016.

    "Furthermore, the condition attached to this order is that the enrolled order must be served along with the motion on notice on respondents, else he order automatically lapses on 8th July, 2016."

    Also, in a motion of ex-parte order the court also restricted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from issuing a certificate of return to Oga.

    The order reads: "an order of injunction restraining the 2nd defendant (INEC) from issuing a certificate of return to the 1st defendant (Ogah) while the claimant (Ikpeazu) remains in office in accordance with section 143 (1) & (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and pending the determination of the motion on notice.

    "An order of injunction restraining the 3rd defendant (Chief Judge of Abia State) or any other judge of the court, or any judiciary officer from swearing in the 1st defendant (Ogah) while the claimant (Ikpeazu) remains in office in accordance with section 143 (1) & (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and pending the determination of the motion on notice."

    ReplyDelete


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